This is the Splendor vs Jaipur game comparison showdown. A comparison between these two games makes sense, they are both have simple actions in pursuit of trade, both set in the Renaissance, both are about quickly getting to a certain victory point and both have cards as the main component. We dive deep into both. Learn a little about the games then check out our Splendor vs Jaipur notes and final verdict.
ABOUT THE GAMES
About Splendor (2014): You are a gem trader in the Renaissance starting with nothing in hopes to build up an amazing empire. You need to acquire different goods and services to do this in the form of cards you buy and in turn give you bonuses. There are five different types of gems and turns are very simple, you either take them or you spend them. Buying cards gives you higher gem counts which will let you buy bigger and better cards.
FOR MORE: Splendor Page | How To Play Splendor | Splendor Review | Games Like Splendor | Buy Splendor
About Jaipur (2009): You and one other are the most powerful traders in the city of Jaipur, but only one of you can be the best. To get there you must excel at buying, exchanging, and selling at better prices. On your turn, you can either take or sell cards. Taking makes you grab one of many different configurations from cards in the market area and selling lets you unload one thing at an opportune time. Making the right moves gets you money and the highest count wins.
FOR MORE: Buy Jaipur
SPLENDOR VS JAIPUR ANALYSIS
Theme: Both games are set during the Renaissance period and are about trading. In Splendor, you are focused on building a gem trading empire. In Jaipur, you will trade whatever comes your way, and you in it for making the quick deal, you are not building anything. In Splendor vs Jaipur, both themes are nice touches and do what they need to do well.
Gameplay: In both games you are building up a stash in order to buy or make a good trade for something, but the similarities end there. In Splendor you are making investments and in Jaipur you are just trying to get yourself in the right position to pounce. Both adopt the type of turn where you have limited actions, basically buy or sell, which make them run real easy while still having plenty of satisfying play.
Mechanics: Splendor is pure engine builder and nothing else so you start with nothing and need to acquire combinations of the 5 resources so you can buy things that will give you even more resources. Jaipur is a hand management and set collection game so that is all about thinking about the options that are coming, as well as, what you opponent is doing, and make moves based on that.
Time Commitment: This can vary dramatically because of player count (Splendor) and other factors inherent to these types of games but they are definitely quick for what you get out of the experience. Splendor will run about 40 minutes max per round and Jaipur in more like 20 – 30.
Player Count: In Splendor vs Jaipur player count, Splendor has a big advantage because not only is it great for 2 people like Jaipur, it also is fantastic for 3 – 4. Splendor scales based on player count which is great. IF you do not see this happening in a board game, you should be slightly concerned.
Cost: Both of these have been out for over 6 years, with Jaipur coming 5 years before Splendor. They have both already made it. You are not paying some crazy price. It is modest and well priced because at this point the publishers just want a good game out in the world (maybe get some expansion money). Splendor has one expansion, Jaipur has none.
Verdict For the Shelf: Splendor (60% of the time) and Jaipur (40% of the time). Another example of an embarrassment of riches, both of these games are fantastic so you can do no wrong. That being said, Splendor just happens to edge out Jaipur across the board in most categories. Splendor covers many more people with the bigger player count options and it is much more accessible to jump into while still offering the same challenge and level of fun. As far as gameplay goes, these are very different games. The main thing they have in common is that they are easy to play but very robust in their gameplay.
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